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tv   Tavis Smiley  PBS  July 19, 2014 12:00am-12:31am PDT

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good evening. from los angeles. i'm tavis smiley. first a conversation with demian bichir. starring in "the bridge." a complicated relationship between the border cities of juarez and el paso. he's the aclu's current ambassador for immigration rights. we will have a conversation with jonathan butler. his latest c.d. is called "living my dream" p probes his life and love, god and family and his home of south africa. we close our show with a performance of a song called "heart and soul" for which he will be joined by his daughter, jodie. glad you joined us. jonathan butler coming up right
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now. ♪ >> by distributions to your pbsz station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ >> good evening.
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academy award nomination for "a better life" in 2011. cattle putted in a leading role stat news the states. he co-starred in "the bridge." wednesday mates on the fx network. tackles a complex relationship between juarez and el paso. he's also the aclu's ambassador for immigrant rights. we will start our conversation with a scene from "the bridge." [ speaking foreign language ]
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>> this isn't your typical police procedure. >> sometimes you have to get rough, you know. when things are tough. when you are -- when someone is trying to put a bullet in your back. >> what's that scene say to us about what this series is or what it is? >> it is -- direct. it is fearless. i maean, it is brave in many, many ways. without being a documentary kind of -- work, we try to go real into many different situations. martin's life is in danger when
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season two begins. and he's trying to make a point in front of everyone. to set up an example once and for all. >> tell me about your character. >> you know, he is one of those almost -- shakespearean characters that deals with deem ans and angels the same day. sometime it is same time. he chose to be walking in to i will juarez. one of the most difficult places. not only in mexico but the world and for many reasons. because he believes he can represent a difference and he can be -- make that happen. and he has to do that in order to transit safety. you know.
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he is a real human being. i love it. white or black. i believe in different layers of emotions and all that. michael has all that. he has been through a lot. he went law a lot in season one. he's, you know, really, really dark. a difficult place when his -- >> you say the series is dark. >> darker now. >> i think it would be darker now and i think i -- i think it is -- our drama goes deeper. and in terms of how every character's journey concerns, you know, i -- i think that we are going deeper into the psychological and emotional journey of the character and michael's character. >> when you saw this script
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cross your desk as an actor from a very well moan acting family, what was it about this character, this drama, that made you want to be a part of it? >> you know, it is -- it is that. when you say because -- had is all about not paper. that piece of paper, that material have you. pretty much all you have. the names are around it. most of the times we just don't have any more than that. we want solid drama. we want well written drama. that's what i'm talking about. aclu. possibility of creating this cop that -- he's -- worth a few great solid cops that, you know, as a say -- he believes he can make a difference.
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but also, he's no angel. and so -- all those layers of different tonealities make my decision very easy. the fact i remembered the script, only the first scene the character has, he was dealing with this. he was at home with his wife and his kids. dealing with referee day normal problems. that for me got me hooked in it. it was real. >> this series, given -- where it stands p. in terms of locale, the issues, of course, come to bear because of the setting, makes this particular series, request "the bridge," relate and contemporary. give dwren what's happening in our politics in this country and new mexico. what's it feel like to be part
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of a series that's situated at a moment in time when the stuff that you are talking about on the series is stuff that's being debated in our country every day? >> that's happening as we speak. it seems like we are -- every day before it airs. right. p we always try to probably more than just move the u.s. audience from change your mind -- make you think. open your heart. open your senses. and intellect. and -- probably if we are lucky, you would jump into that information to know more. i think that's probably one of the things that people love about the show, that we talk about many different things that
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the border between mexico and the u.s. leads every day and this particular border. they couldn't be more different. at the same time we are about to get forever. we won't be there forever. no one can change that. and -- i think that is -- because that's what i hear on the streets. when people talk to you about the show, they say -- it is -- it is just -- looks so real, you know. is on good. the fact that we have seen some spani spanish, complete scenes in spanish. it wouldn't make my sense if, you know -- state police cop and with his wife, they wouldn't be talking in english. you know what i mean? as much as -- had both zeal with the language every day.
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right? so when ethics says -- that's what they mean. it is a risk. not many people get connected when they see subtitles. a lot of people have stayed and watched the rest of the show because of that reason. it is a blessing that me as an actor, i'm able to play not as a character and be part of a great show, amazing cast, but i'm also part of this scene that we deal with every day. it is almost like i don't think it is a political statement but i think we talk about many different issues that we both have together. this is -- one of the things people love is that we are not calling in this country theed about guy of the country, the good guy. we are talking about everything that we share. good things and terrible things. >> there are some people -- the show may not do it but there are people in the society, certainly politics, that call people good
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guys and bad guys. the immigrants are the bad guy. >> absolutely. >> you have dual citizenship. >> yes. >> mexico and the u.s. how do you read the present debate, full debate, about immigration in america? >> you know, i think one of the basic problems is misinformation. because we don't immediate to con vince you or my fellow kungtrimen or 12 million undocumented workers who in hope and to get immigration reform but -- we immediate to talk to the people who don't believe in this force of human beings. right? i hi this there's -- a vast amount of lives that politicians -- lies that politicians tell the american people in order to make hem hi
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that we are working for you and your tax money is working for and you we will get rid of this enemy. new enemy. we don't have a new enemy now so let's make this new enemy undocumented workers. because they are here to take your jobs and they are here to take everything you have. and that could be, you know, more par away from the truth. we are playing with this double morality kind of game saying we need them here because they are here. they have been here for decades. sometimes, you know, a couple of centuries. pet and -- but at the same time, we say we immediate their work. but we don't want p want it here. and -- of course, everyone benefits from them. mexico and the u.s. because the amount of money that they -- this community of people sends to mexico is a lot of
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money every year. and then everyone is happy here because this is the force -- the people who can work for peanuts. rye. with for nothing. they can't -- don't have a name and a face. so they can't get organized. right? so everyone wins. but them. so it is about dash also getting the facts and not making politicians lie to you. >> nobody wants to watch a series that preaches. you want to be entertained. certainly by television. i wonder whether or not beyond entertainment there is a message of hope or empowerment that you hope that the series offers viewers. what's the takeaway? what do you hope the takeaway from the series is beyond watching beyond entertainment? >> i always think there is an intelligent viewer on the other side of the tv.
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i always put on myy on intelligence, smart people, watching whatever you do. partly great things about the show is no one is saying, yeah, this is happening because this guy, man. look at that man. or those guys. look how much, you know, drugs they consume? no, no, no. we have to stop doing that. in this sense michael's character and sonya's character, my character and diane's character, they would denaend many in ways. there are very much like the u.s. and mexico. we couldn't be more different. and still we respect each other. we appreciate the differences. and then we work together and we cover each other's back. >> nicely done. the show is "the bridge" on fx. starring demian bichir. good to shave you on the progra.
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coming up jonathan butler. stay with us. xwlamy nominated jonathan butler bringing lifetime experience to his latest cd "living my dream." celebrating his faith in god and love for family and ties to his native south africa. single from the album originally written for the hit movie "jewel of the nile." he had an impressive number eight and also close our show tonight with the performance of "heart and soul." he will be joined by his daughter jodie. i am always better when i'm in your press sense likewise. always. >> thank you. >> last time i was being honored with the star of the walk of
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five. you and dave koz, larry king. everybody was there. you all perfect formed p that day. at the reception, your rendition of "falling in love with jesus," still has everybody talking about what great day that was. thank you for honoring me. >> you're welcome. your mother. she got up and prayed. you are blessed. >> i'm glad to know that you are still doing your thing. tell me about "living my dream". >> man, i look at it -- i had -- i didn't think hi this record in me. it is a declaration. i'm 52 years old. i have been singing, traveling since i was 7 years old. you know, i -- that's how i felt. i felt -- you know, i am living my dream. i have just about everything i want and need in life. i'm doing what i love in life. i'm able to bless people wherever we go.
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i see them on facebook. i ran into a little girl who said that she was going to commit suicide after the show. i prayed with her. she with a 12 years old. you know, it is -- it is a declaration. i feel more comfortable these days saying that than ten years ago or 20 years ago. it is really -- of course, jodie butler is the co-writer of the album. a credit to her. she yanked it out of me. you have to work. we made this album. it is a chapter in my life. i said at one point, george, i think i came to write with you. we went to the wine cellar. he grabbed a bottle of wine. storage. great musicians playing on it. nice that it is a live record. people play.
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>> great late george duke. i miss him. >> i got so close to him. it was so interesting after his wife passed away, i went to write with him. we sat there for it seemed like forever just talking. i said at one point, i said, george, i think i came to write with you. he went to his wine cellar. he grabbed a bottle of wine. i said, i guess i graduated. what do you mean? i'm in your wine cellar. i have been coming to your house. i have never been in your wine cellar. we talked for hours, man. he was sharing just -- how he felt about life and -- you know, within 20 minutes, we wrote his favorite scriptures. we wrote that piece in 20 minutes. >> obviously -- every parent has to hi revels in their children and their accomplishments. how cool is it to work and write with your daughter? >> oh, my gosh. you know, we are so alike in so many ways. she sits with me on the plane. we order the same things. i ask for this.
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she wants the same thing. it is amazing. it is really cool. we were in paris together two, three weeks ago. we did a tribute to the beatles. it was just the two of us. it was just amaze. witness really feels to have your kids so close to you and it is a testament. >> in terms of actual compositions, how would -- how was your fan base find these tracks as compared to the other kinds of material we heard over the years? >> you know, so much of this album goes back to how i used to make records. the writings of the songs are really just about my family and it is about my personal turmoil. it is also about south africa. when they connect with it hopefully they will connect with the true essence of who i am. i'm not afraid to express my pain or my joy and.
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i'm the kind of person that can never keep it to my sell. i have to let it out. >> have you always been that way? it has to be easier. >> it has always been that way. i was alone most of the time as a 7-year-old. no parents in the household. no one to look after me. you know, if i was punished or going through a difficult time i actually -- the stage where i literally can do it i felt like i could go on stage. let it all out. i guess in my relationship was people, you know, as well, i feel very much -- i'm so -- i am blessed. a whole lot of stuff going on. i wanted to let it out. >> great songwriting. >> yeah. yeah. i got to thank her for helping me through the song. >> before i do that, i mentioned the song you originally wrote. 30 years old.
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>> minked the song you originally wrote. 30 years old. >> yeah. it is. >> i love romantic. >> yeah. >> how does it feel to reprieve a song and make it appreciate? >> i believed in it then. it was for a movie. it is nice to go in your office and find something that people may not have really paid attention to. and just revisit it ask juice it up a little bit. it is great. you love it. it reminds me of wakeup and earlier stuff. >> yeah. >> you read that. >> borrow it.
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the new project, anything he does, i love. he has an amazing cast and better man. the project is called "living my dream." we are glad to have him on the program. for the first time he has brought his daughter, jodie and health perfect form "heart and soul." it is from "living my dream." i'm going to get out of the way so they can do their thing for you in just a moment. i love to have you back on the program. thanks for watching. as always, keep the faith. ♪ ♪
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♪ baby i'm on my mes ♪ can't you see i'm begging you ♪ ♪ i don't want to lose you now you need the world to me ♪ ♪ i regret the things i said ♪ if i could take it all back ♪ so sorry i let you down ♪ down ♪ i broke your heart ♪ yeah ♪ can't you seem i'm nothing without you ♪ ♪ you are my heart my soul ♪ can't get enough of your love ♪ ♪ the sun and the man and the stars ♪ ♪ you are the light in my mind ♪ shining inside of me ♪ you are the river that flows deep inside of me ♪ ♪ i know it is going to take
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some time ♪ ♪ for you to come around ♪ babe i understand when you are ready i will be there ♪ ♪ it is me and you ♪ baby i promise you love ♪ i broke your heart ♪ i did too ♪ you see i'm nothing without you ♪ ♪ you are my heart ♪ you are my soul ♪ i can't get enough of your love ♪ ♪ the sun and the moon and the stars to have you near ♪ ♪ you are the light in my mind ♪ shining deep inside of me ♪ the river that flows deep inside ♪ ♪ i'm yours ♪ my heart and soul ♪ i can't get enough
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♪ the and unthe moon ♪ you are the light in my mind ♪ you are the river that flows deep inside of me ♪ ♪ [ applause [ applause ] >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at >> i'm tavis smiley. join me next time. we will see you then.
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♪ >> contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪
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♪ next, a special edition of kqed "newsroom." the firestorm over fracking. it's propelled a domestic energy boom around the country, but the process remains controversial. >> no fracs for us. >> in california, fracking is sparking concerns about potential effects on groundwater quality. >> regulations don't protect you. >> proponents say it's safe and ness. >> you can kill for it or drill for it. i prefer to drill for it. >> what are the risks, can we regulate them and will fracking become more common place in california?


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